Description by Outdoor Swimming Society on behalf of Outdoor Swimming Society
A Deakin favourite. Joe Minihane swam here regularly during his retracing of Waterlog.
Description by Jason Schreiber who added this swim
The Men's Pond on Hampstead Heath is available for year-round swimming. As the name implies, the pond is only available to male swimmers - but ladies can swim nearby at the Ladies Pond (for females only), the Mixed Pond or the Parliament Hill Lido.
All swimming is restricted to specified hours and is under the supervision of a lifeguard. There is a voluntary entry fee of £1-£2 (not enforced). Swimming hours vary according to season (check the City of London website for details - or phone 020 7485 3873).
During swimming hours, the men's open-air enclosure is unlocked and has a changing area and a sunbathing area. There are long benches along the sides of the enclosure to store your belongings under a small overhang roof, but there are no lockers, so leave any valuables at home.
Beyond the enclosure there are two fully covered (unheated) spaces here - the cold water showers and a block of toilets.
Access to the pond is via a jetty which has a diving board and 4 ladders into the pond. The pond is very deep, and suitable only for swimmers who are confident to swim entirely in water that is deep. The swimming area marked out by buoys is very large in summer, and smaller (but still substantial) in winter. Lifeguards are on hand to help, and are happy to answer any questions.
The water is very very murky, but the quality is monitored regularly in the summer, and is typically good. Although the pond is restricted to male swimmers, swimming costumes are required for swimming in this pond.
On a final note, the wildlife at the pond is amazing! There are kingfishers, cormorants, herons, ducks and gulls. There are crayfish in the pond, but they don't approach people.
This is a crowd-sourced map. Abilities vary, and conditions change. Always assess risks for yourself before getting in.
The water is deep and access to land is by ladders only. The water can be cold between October and May (varying betewen 0-15C).